Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


New Zealand’s premier ballooning competition has a new champ

New Zealand’s premier ballooning competition has a new champion

The cream of New Zealand’s competitive balloonists rose to the top on Saturday as the final target was set to decide the champion of champions.

The Wairarapa Balloon Fiesta, celebrating its 16th stunning days with a mass ascension, which involved 22 balloons lifting-off within 10 minutes, a New Zealand record on Thursday and another perfect lift-off from Carrington Park in Carterton on Friday.

Due to deteriorating weather conditions because of cyclone Lusi, the Martinborough event on Saturday ended up being the last leg of the competition.

After two perfect days of flying, Martinborough was the big decider as 22 pilots pitted their skill and read the winds in an attempt to score maximum points on a target laid in the heart of the wine village.

And it was tight competition. Going into day three, it was neck and neck with young Christchurch balloonist Nicholas Oakley, a New Zealand under 21 gliding champion just a few points behind seasoned Nelson balloonist John Clifton. Nicholas was gunning hard for 2013 champ, Scott Cursons of Wellington to take out the top spot, but Scott wasn’t in the running leading into day three.

What clinched the competition was pure skill and knowledge of low level wind conditions that got John Clifton enough left turn to put him precisely over the target to score maximum points.

John, who has been a top three placer over the past five years took out top points to claim first place, with Nicholas Oakley having to settle for second place and Carterton pilot Peter King coming in third.

Balloonmeister Martyn Stacey says pilots want to fly, compete and enjoy the area and the people. “Once again Wairarapa has put on an awesome display from great weather to the most positive responses from the public that left the pilots with big smiles and wanting to return again next year.”

“Once again thanks to great organisers, who volunteer to make sure the event is the best it can be for the people of the Wairarapa. Feedback from locals and people all over New Zealand has been extremely positive. I look forward to doing it all again next year.”

Even after 16 years, no one had tired of the fiesta, said event organiser Jonathan Hooker. “With an event that is 100 per cent dependent on the weather, we had an incredible first three mornings even though the bad weather finally hit. It didn’t take any sparkle away from what is a premier event for the Wairarapa and New Zealand and New Zealand balloonists.”

End

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news